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Old 05-19-2008, 04:35 PM   #1
Casting On
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When to start a new ball
I am a fairly new knitter. I am looking for a hint in knowing when to stop a ball of yarn before I get half way through a row and run out of yarn. I also would like to know how most of you like to gauge how much yarn to pull out to begin your long tail cast on. I wasted too much yarn on one project on both questions and didn't have enough yarn to finish...thankfully the store still had the same dye lot of my color. You pros out there have helped me before and I so appreciate it.
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Old 05-19-2008, 04:40 PM   #2
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To begin, you can cast on a few stitches and look how much yarn it takes you approximativerly, then undo them and do the maths to get the amount of yarn you need for your cast on.
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:33 PM   #3
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yes for measuing the long tail amount i normally cast on 10 stitches and then unravel it and measure the amount to see what i will need.

As fof adding in yarn, i try and make sure that i am near an edge or in a hidden spot. I have no way of calculating, so i try and knit to the last posiible few inches, especially if i am felting the joing or similar so dont need much of an ovrelap.
Quite often i find i knit past where i should of joined and dont have enough yarn to get to the next 'safe place' so will tink back and join in there. This may meen a little wasted, but because you are working back to the best spot, i find that you normally dont waste much.

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Old 05-19-2008, 07:00 PM   #4
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For the long tail cast on, I wrap my yarn around the needle a number of times equal to the amount of stiches I need and then add a few inches for safety sake.

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Old 05-19-2008, 08:25 PM   #5
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Many times when the stitch is just a regular st st, or something equally solid, I work the yarn clear out (except for a tail, of course) and just join where ever. I know most advice is to join at a seam, but I don't (generally) have trouble joining elsewhere. People who knit in the round don't have any seams to hide things in anyway (not always my case, but the principle applies) and they have to join balls too. With wool and yarns that are not slippery I have good luck with that. EZ said in Knitting Without Tears that she knits the first stitch of the new ball together with the last stitch of the old and then just keeps going. (She used wool almost exclusively) I do that, or just start in with the new yarn and leave a tail of each and later gently tie (no, not a real knot) the two tails together like the very first step in tying a shoe, just a loose overhand non-knot. LOL Then work the two tails off in opposite directions.

But.....I have been working with a yarn on my present project that I have wanted to join at the seams. I experimented on how many times I had to pull an arms length out from the skein to do a row. And then if I less than that much left, I know I better join the new one.
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:13 AM   #6
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I just work until I run out of yarn, and add the new strand. There's really no law about having to start the new one at the edge, it's more of a preference really. I tie them together loosely, knit a few rows then rearrange the knot and tighten it up. It doesn't show on the RS or work loose. It seems a shame to waste 2 yds of yarn, when you need 2 yds+ 6 inches to get across a row.
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Old 05-20-2008, 10:36 AM   #7
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it realy dies depend on the yarn, some show joins and some hide them. The Berroco suede i am working with right now shows, as it is a fairly rigid structure, that is why i am trying to keep the joins to the sdies were they are less obvious. The Rowan 2/ply homespun i used for socks last month didn't show so i added it in whenever i needed too (the bll had become very very tangles so i needed to cut into a few shorter lengths unfortunately).

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Old 05-20-2008, 01:53 PM   #8
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It's pretty much just eyeballing it if you want to join at an edge or seam. I just started a new skein on my sweater. I still had about a foot of yarn left but knew it wouldn't make it all the way around so I went ahead and started a new one.

As for the long tail, the suggestions above are all good ones. I just guestimate it myself.

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Old 05-20-2008, 04:26 PM   #9
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i too use the wrap method for the long tail cast-on. just wrap it around your needle 10 or 20 times, then multiply the length.
you can do the same thing for figuring out when to join a new ball. if your project is 100sts wide, wrap the yarn 100 time around the needle (or 20sts multiplied by 5) to see if you'll make it. it's much faster than knitting and having to tink back.
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:18 PM   #10
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If I'm working with wools...I knit along til I have only about 6" left...and then tie in the new skein using the felted join.

But, some yarns don't take to the felted join as nicely. NORO does great!

Malabrigo, no.

I don't mind tying in at the side edge...because sometimes a middle of the row tie in (with some yarns) is not as invisible as I'd like.

My tie-in methods vary from yarn to yarn, pattern to pattern.

The most important determining factor: an invisible transition, even if that means a little yarn is wasted for a side edge join.

Sorry I couldn't give you more concrete info!
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